Real Estate Tech & Media Predictions For 2016
1) 2016 – The year video becomes a standard
Since 2014 marketers have been saying “this is the year for video”. It’s true that the demand for high-quality video has been increasing since then, but now I’m saying 2016 is the year video becomes a marketing standard.
In early 2015 drones were a hot topic in the media and we started to see lots of drones flying around Real Estate. Residential Real Estate was one of the first obvious niches for drone pilots to target. However, as everyone got excited about drones being a new technology, we immediately recognized that the industry was going to need more than just a couple aerial shots in order to create a compelling property video. That’s when custom aerial videos were introduced to the Real Estate marketing world.
We saw videos using the combination of aerials, ground footage, animated satellite images and animated information rapidly become more and more popular as 2015 came to a close. The unique combination of drones and animation brought life to information that you would typically scour through a brochure to discover. Videos are entertaining, use storytelling to emotionally connect with viewers, and create a memorable experience. Everyone has a brochure, not everyone has a video – leverage video to outperform your competitors.
Videos give Real Estate investors the confidence to invest in Real Estate without physically being present.
2) Virtual Reality (VR) leaders will emerge in the second half of 2016
Oculus Rift launched their pre-orders on January 6th, with an expected ship date of April-June 2016. We’re expecting VR leaders to emerge in the second half of 2016. There is a multitude for VR applications and Real Estate is a prime market for what this technology has to offer. Developers, architects, and media companies will be creating VR experiences to share with the world as soon as the Oculus Rift ships. The new Oculus headset is a tremendous upgrade from its predecessor and we see VR opening up a whole new world for the pre-sales/pre-leasing and tenant improvement markets.
3) More Commercial Realtors leveraging social advertising
Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are powerful tools for connecting to hyper-targeted audiences. These sites have been rapidly improving their advertising platforms in order to create value for both the advertiser and consumer, as robust targeting tools and algorithms now allow you to discover who is genuinely interested in consuming your content. Remember when Google Adwords were cheap? Right now Facebook advertising provides great value, for instance, Facebook recognizes engaging content and rewards advertisers by delivering their content to more people for less money. I suggest you start experimenting with Facebook video ads to grow your online audience, email lists, and overall reach to get a head start on your competition.
More and more developers, brokers and landlords are also taking advantage of PR in digital publications such as Vancity Buzz & Vancouver is Awesome. Digital publications such as these have social audiences of tens or hundreds of thousands of people and these are the online communities developers, brokers and landlords want to connect with. I would say as more people in the industry start utilizing social media properly, close to the majority of revenue for digital publications will come from Real Estate.
4) Real Estate eCommerce to become more prominent
Companies like RentMoola, Zillow, FundRise and SparkCRM are exploding and it’s only a matter of time before real estate transactions online are standard. What’s coming next will be along the lines of ‘Amazon for Real Estate’, where the transaction of a condo, home, or a building will be facilitated online. An online platform that can facilitate the entire transaction of a property would massively disrupt the Realtor model. With how quickly technology and globalization are trending, a technology like this will start appearing in markets that are more open to foreign investment.
5) 360 Video, bridging the gap between video and VR on Facebook
As you may know, Facebook owns Oculus Rift, which means they’re investing heavily in Virtual Reality. With the Rift launching mid-2016, we see Facebook making a big push for 360 videos to be the content that bridges video and virtual reality. You can already embed 360 videos into Facebook posts, which is a feature that residential developers and realtors should seriously consider including in their marketing mix. 360 video is the gateway into virtual reality, so if you want to be a first mover into VR, start playing with 360 videos.
At Smart City, our focus is “adding new dimensions to the digital world”. Our evolving custom aerial videos have been a tangible outcome of what we believe in and we’re excited for the year ahead. As we continue to improve our video products, we are also working on developing new products and services that leverage cutting-edge technology, in order to continually add new dimensions to our clients’ digital presence.